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Teiq sinkhole and cave

Main characteristics

Coordinates: 17.1552 N 54.6272 E
No:140        (list of all attractions)
Category:Sinkholes, Caves
Values:Geology, Visual
Rank:5
Address:Asia, Oman, Dhofar Governorate, 57 km NEE from Salalah, north from Tawi Atair
Alternate names:Tiq Cave, Tahik sinkhole, Teeq Cave
Depth of sinkhole:250 m

One of the largest sinkholes of the world is the little known Teiq sinkhole in Oman.

Unique formation

At first look in "Google Earth" one might think that Teiq sinkhole is just a widening of the deep canyon of wadi - perennial stream. Such wadis in Oman often have shaped deep valleys and ravines.

Closer look though reveals - here is something unusual. This giant hole is not a part of valley. It is the endpoint of TWO streams who meet in the deepest point of this sinkhole and... dissappear underground.

In the surroundings of Teiq sinkhole there are several more interesting structures - round collapse dolines (look a bit to north-east!). These are signs of large, collapsed underground voids. Such voids are created by underground streams, flowing through cave passages.

Giant size

The size of Teiq sinkhole is very impressive. Width of this structure in SSE-NNW direction is 1,000 m, in NNE-SSW direction - 750 m. Depth reaches 250 m, average depth is 175 - 200 m. Volume of sinkhole is 90 million m³ - in this respect it belongs to the largest sinkholes of the world (the giant Xiaozhai sinkhole in China though is larger).

Walls around this sinkhole are very steep. In southern side walls of sinkhole have even 150 m high overhang.

Wadis - perennial streams - enter the sinkhole as very spectacular waterfalls. During heavier rain this should be very impressive, unusual place.

Formation

It is not clear how this giant pit was formed. May be this sinkhole was formed by collapse of giant cave room. It is possible that this cave room was not as large as current sinkhole and that sinkhole was later enlarged by two streams which enter it.

Recently here has been discovered Teiq Cave - research is on-going and the results are told to be very exciting and impressive.

Map

See Teiq sinkhole and cave on the map of Oman!

 

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